11:04am

Tue January 3, 2012
The Commonwealth

Herds of Feral Pigs Go Wild in Kentucky

Randy Kelley has engaged in a frustrating and discouraging battle the past four or five years on his Henry County farm. His 200-pound foe: a wild pig. Actually, that should be plural because these pigs tend to run in herds. "They're just rooting my farm up," Kelley said. "They just go through your fields and tear it all to pieces. ... You never get it back like it was." Kelley's property in the Bethlehem community is just one example of what the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources calls a disturbing trend. An invasion of wild hogs in counties throughout the state is leaving muddy bogs of overturned ground and ruined crops in its wake. Feral swine have been in isolated areas of the state for decades, but in 2008, officials started an increase in reports of wild hogs in areas where they had not been seen before, said Steven Dobey, wildlife program coordinator for the Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. Wild hogs have now been reported in 37 counties.